Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 91.djvu/919

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Popular Science Monthly

��The dressing plant into which the turkeys from the surrounding farms are driven, to emerge later crated for market

���Flocks composed of a thousand or more turkeys are sometimes driven miles to the community dressing plant. Stops are made at nightfall near a grove of trees where the birds may roost-

��In most large turkey-growing districts, however, dressing plants have been built to handle the birds during November and December. During other months of the year the plants are used as clearing houses for butter, eggs and other farm products. Here the turkeys are killed and dressed as quickly as possible after their arrival to prevent shrinkage in weight. Of- ten huskers in the vicin- ity of a dressing plant will go out through the surrounding country and buy up from the farmers all the available turkeys, driving them in to the dressing plant in flocks of sometimes a thousand or more birds.

At the dressing plants the turkeys are driven into cages arranged in

���An economical brooding pen in which the motherbird is kept from straying

��long rows and leading through an alley into a smaller inner cage. Not more than twenty turkeys are allowed to remain in the inner cage — or dressing room — at one time. This is to prevent the pickers from choosing the smallest and most easily picked birds and leaving the large ones for the last.

Although it is consid- ered best for all con- cerned to ship the birds already killed and dressed to market, on account of the heavy shrinkage of live birds during trans- portation, the rule is not arbitrary. In fact, there is a special train, known as the "turkey special" which travels regu- larly from Morristown, Tenn., to New York loaded with live turkeys.

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